From nothing to masterpiece stage designs
Black Motion Production, a company that specialises in lighting, staging, sound, and audio-visuals is amongst South Africa’s most trusted and highly reputable event solutions companies.
We sat down with Kagiso Moima wa Masimini, lighting director and founder of the company, to find out how the 14-years of blood, sweat and tears have been.
Born and bred in Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga, Moima wa Masimini fell in love with stage technology at the age of 13 when his mother put him under her dress so that he could gain access to a concert where he saw Lucky Dube for the first time.
“I got lost so I was taken backstage. When I turned, I heard this guy with long dreadlocks and there was this red light shining on his long thick dreadlocks and I became curious from there,” said Moima wa Masimini.
He studied Sound and Lighting Technology at Tshwane University of technology, majored in stage technology. The plan was to work as a sound engineer but that changed when he joined a church, doing sound and realised that the sound console had too many fingers on it.
The 40-year-old father of five shifted his interest to lighting, which had only one operator. His interest grew and he did his internship with a lighting company, MJ events Gear. After a year of being an intern, the law of attraction got him his dream job..
“From my commune where I used to live to MJ Events Gear, I used to pass Urban Brew studios and every time I’d pass Urban Brew, I’d say ‘my future is here’. My future is in lighting and Urban Brew did studio lighting. So, I got a call from a friend of mine who was leaving Urban Brew and wanted a replacement,” he explained.
When he finally joined the company, he did lighting for shows like Friends Like These, Three Talk with Noeleen, live Lotto draw and Castle Loud.
He quit working for companies and opened Black Motion in 2005. All he had was experience, a vision and a network he’s made in the past years, no equipment or money.
“I did not have equipment or money. I’d source out equipment from MJ Event Gear, where I used to be
an intern. They say ignorance is bliss, that is one of the things I went into business with , which
came back to bite me. However, I grew up with a conquering complex,” he explained.
The first show his company worked in was Moferefere Lenyalong and as time went by, he was able to accommodate other clients.
After buying his equipment cash, in 2007 SARS came to take everything Moima wa Masimini owned because he had Ignored taxes and landed in a R3.5 million debt.
He was depressed for a long time, upset with God and his ancestors but he remembered that he had to get up and resurrect his company.
“You need to believe in yourself when there is no one to believe in you,” he said explaining what kept him going.
Not giving up landed him and his company an opportunity to design lighting and sets for most of the SABC and Multichoice shows.
And even though they have had shows and events that failed technically because of bad preparations but they learnt from the mistakes and now have designed one of the best stages like the Nelson Mandela lecture delivered by former US President Barack Obama and the Isithunzi Sabafazi Dialogue
stage where iconic American talk show host Oprah Winfrey, gave the keynote address..
“Sometimes I look back and I am like had I given up and closed, what could have happened. I laugh and smile, I hardly cry over it, but it is like oh my gosh, it is happening.”
The company has grown from owning just six lights to 1008. Employs about 18 people, has two interns a year and branches in Eswatini, Malawi, Botswana and Lesotho.
“It is so surreal to know that I am living my dream,” he said proudly.
“There is something great that you were born to do. You need to tell yourself that this is meant for you, this is what you are going to do and if you fail it is fine. You will fail at some point in something.”
Moima wa Masimini said celebrating your achievements is not arrogance because you dreamt about it, you saw it and now it is happening.
“What is the point of dreaming and then when it manifests you are surprised?” he asked.
Published in Articles